Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Interviews section. This one is of Randhir Hebbar, 2001 CSE.
Randhir Hebbar is the co-founder and VP of Client Engagement for Convergytics. Along with two partners he started Convergytics with sole vision of enabling & empowering companies to get the bigger picture of their businesses through big data. Through the company, he has colloborated with large MNCs across the globe to deliver innovative solutions to complex business problems.
Team Sampada: What inspired you to start your own business? Tell us more about your company?
Randhir: I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Post my Engineering, I got into Infosys and while Infosys by then had started to lose its sheen, it still was and is the most successful story to come out of India of first-generation entrepreneurs starting something and scaling it up to a Billion Dollars in Revenue. Being part of that inspirational story, it was always something that I wanted to follow-thru with. After spending 5-6 years of working there, I went in for an MBA in Finance with a specialization in Entrepreneurship at HKUST and a Term at London Business School. This helped me bring out my innate desire to start a business, generate 100s of jobs, shape careers of youngsters and make an impact on society. During my MBA too, I tried a couple of startup ideas and learnt a lot from it – one of it being start a venture in an area where you have some core expertise. After that experience, got into the Analytics domain and spent 4-5 years in companies like Mu Sigma and Dell. Leveraging that experience, I and two other friends got together and started Convergytics in the middle of 2013.
Convergytics is a 5 year old big data and analytics consulting setup with 75+ employees and 50+ clients both in India as well as countries such as US, UK, CA, Australia, Middle-East and SE Asia. We provide a range of solutions and services including areas such as Data Warehousing, Data Platform Modernization, Business Intelligence, Predictive Modeling and Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. We are also now investing heavily into converting 2-3 of our core offerings into a solution / product as well to help scale up the enterprise from a $3M entity to $10M by 2022
Team Sampada: What major challenges did you face?
Randhir: Getting our first few clients was a challenge. While we did do several small projects on and off, getting a retainer from one of the clients we had worked with was a big first step and that took us almost a year of persistence as we worked in the garage of our house. In that sense, we were a true Indian Silicon Valley Garage startup.
Once we got over that hurdle, the next big challenge came when we lost one of our major clients when we were around 15 people. This client generated 60% of our revenue at the time. This meant 4-5 months of belt tightening and while we were tempted to let go of some employees, we stuck to the team and slowly clawed our way back.
The next big challenge once we had gotten over this hurdle was scaling up the enterprise and while we have not yet got all the answers, today we are well on our way to reaching our goals by growing our revenue by over 100% YoY and achieving consistent QoQ growth of over 20% each quarter for the last 6 quarters. We hope to sustain this as we scale up the enterprise and our investments in products is a step towards making this sustainable.
Team Sampada: What role did UVCE play in your life? What are your most fond memories of UVCE?
Randhir: I met some great friends at UVCE and many of them we are in touch even to this day. Thru the alumni network, I have been able to connect to a few mentors and advisors who’ve helped me in small ways. I would love for us to make this much stronger and I know there are several efforts going on to improve this. Last but not the least, the constraints that we went thru at UVCE during the late 90s and the struggle we went thru with campus placements and post placement cancellations made us stronger as individuals.
– Randhir Hebbar, Sampada-112